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July 31, 2020

Plan to revive businesses affected by virus, says minister

Lahore

July 31, 2020

LAHORE:Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal has said the PTI government is initiating a mega programme after Eid to revive the businesses affected due to coronavirus.

The smart lockdown was imposed to protect the masses from the dangers of coronavirus while the PTI government was not inclined to close businesses because its greatly affects the economy, said the minister during a meeting with a Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) delegation headed by RCCI President Saboor Malik at Punjab Small Industries Corporation Office here on Thursday. The matters pertaining to the smart lockdown and problems faced by the industries were discussed in the meeting.

Aslam Iqbal stated 55 per cent industry is opened. He disclosed that many business sectors will be opened after Eid in case of improvement in the COVID-19 situation. The minister said that all decisions and steps are being taken with due consultations with medical and economic specialists.

He maintained that social life of the people and the state of economy were adversely affected by the corona pandemic. He believed that the nation would soon get out of the prevailing difficult situation. The RCCI president apprised the minister that RCCI is organising the first Virtual Expo of the country next month in which 12 countries, including China, Malaysia and Turkey, will participate. He invited the minister to participate in the Virtual Expo.

The minister appreciated the innitiative to hold Virtual Expo. Meanwhile, to ensure the availability of essential commodities at the prices fixed by the government, a crackdown on profiteers was continued in the province and 852 persons were arrested during this month, cases were registered against 898 while about Rs57.5 million fine was imposed on them.

Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal and Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik stated this during a meeting held here Thursday. The meeting reviewed the prices and the availability of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar, smart lockdown situation, and arrangements in cattle markets in the province.

The administrative secretaries of food, agriculture, and industries departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, and CCPO Lahore attended the meeting whereas all the divisional commissioners, RPOs, deputy commissioners, and DPOs participated through a video link.

Addressing the meeting, Aslam Iqbal said that providing relief to the people was the government’s priority and no compromise could be made on this important matter. He said the commodities’ prices were fixed by the administration itself and their implementation had to be ensured by the administrative officers.

The chief secretary directed that on the eve of Eid, prices as well as the quality, demand, and supply of tomatoes, onions, ginger, lemons, and other kitchen items be closely monitored. He said that clear instructions had been issued by the federal government to overcome the artificial price hike, adding that no laxity would be tolerated in this regard. He mentioned that the indiscriminate action against profiteers and hoarders would continue throughout the province. The chief secretary asked the deputy commissioners to monitor the process of supply of subsidised government wheat to the flour mills, grinding, and supply in the market to ensure the availability of flour at fixed price. He directed for taking trade organisations into confidence for implementation of the smart lockdown and paying special attention to the arrangements in the cattle markets.

Sanitation activities: On the directions from the Punjab government, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is all set for Eid cleanliness operation.

LWMC has been preparing and formulating plan regarding cleanliness operation on Eidul Aza, officials said. They said the department has set up 293 camps in union council from where public can easily get environment-friendly waste bags, and can file waste-related complaints. The LWMC MD said the department is working tirelessly to maintain cleanliness in the City.